Serena off to winning start

  • Last Updated: April 3 2013, 8:27 BST

Defending champion Serena Williams got her Family Circle Cup campaign off to a winning start as she saw off Italian Camila Giorgi without any fuss.

Serena: Off to a flyer in Charleston
Serena: Off to a flyer in Charleston

The world number one was a 6-2 6-3 victor in round two, having received a first-round bye at the clay-court tournament in Charleston.

Williams is seeking her third title of the year this week, having claimed the second in Miami on Saturday when she beat Maria Sharapova in the final.

Last year Williams had 17 straight wins on clay, taking into account Fed Cup action, before losing in the Rome semi-finals to Li Na and following that with a flummoxing first-round defeat to Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros.

She has only one French Open singles title, from 2002, but is determined to play herself into unbeatable form on clay before heading to Paris next month.

Her opener in Charleston was a fair start, but Williams said: "It definitely wasn't great for me - I played well, but I wasn't great, footing-wise."

According to the WTA website, Williams added: "I was just trying to get my stability. I only had one or two days of practice. But I felt good - I'm glad I came here and hope I can get ready for what can hopefully be another good clay court season."

The surprise of the day came in the all-American clash between Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sloane Stephens.

Stephens, the fourth seed, beat Williams in the Australian Open earlier this year but has struggled for consistent form since and was comprehensively beaten, 6-2 6-0, by world number 113 Mattek-Sands.

Eleventh seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania was handed a free place in the third round when her Spanish opponent Anabel Medina Garrigues pulled out of their scheduled match with a knee injury.

Number 12 Varvara Lepchenko was a 6-1 4-6 6-1 winner, the American dominant at each end of her tussle against French player Mathilde Johansson.

Spanish seventh seed Carla Suarez Navarro bowed out 6-2 6-4 at the hands of Swiss Stefanie Voegele, and German eighth seed Mona Barthel also saw her hopes ended early, slumping to a 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 setback against 19-year-old American Jessica Pegula.

While the second round began, there were still first-round matches to play on day two.

Jelena Jankovic was pushed by American Melanie Oudin in their match but the Serbian ninth seed eventually edged it 6-4 5-7 6-4, while German Sabine Lisicki won in an entirely different manner, racing to a 6-0 6-0 victory over Georgian Anna Tatishvili.

Other first-round winners included New Zealand's Marina Erakovic, who ousted Daniela Hantuchova, and German 10th seed Julia Georges, who saw off Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva.


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